Farewell for last Afghan deployment
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 1:12p.m.
By Kloe Palmer
A farewell is underway at Burnham Military camp as the last group of New Zealand soldiers to serve in Afghanistan is set to leave.
A total of 140 servicemen and women will be part of the 21st six-month Provincial Reconstruction Team deployed to Afghanistan.
The troops are made up of the Second First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, and 21 of them are logistics specialists who are going over to organise New Zealand’s withdrawal next April.
They are essentially a mission close-down team, there to tie up loose ends at New Zealand’s camps across the Bamiyan province.
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Weston says it is a large operation.
“It's a huge job," he says. "The first thing we’ve got to do is a whole lot of accounting and stock taking make sure we’ve got everything and know where everything is within in the bases. And from there we can sort out how we’re going to get stuff back and what we’re going to bring back.”
While much of the camp equipment will be left in Afghanistan and donated, all of the military material will be brought back on chartered planes, including seven light armoured vehicles.
“They’ll be flown out as well, they’ll be flown in initially and they’ll be flown out,” Lt Col Weston says. “We need to do a little bit of work to them to get them down to the right weight and so on.”
The extraction will be the most complex the Defence Force has ever had to do, as the distance and conditions are challenging at the best of times.
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25/09/2012 7:33:57 p.m.
Thomas Jones wrote:
Yes Hope that they all return home too their families and friends.Just sorry you have to go and fight another mans dirty war.And it is a pity
you have to go just for the PM of NZ and the Americans.
25/09/2012 7:18:19 p.m.
Robert W wrote:
Good on you guys of 2/1 Battalion, be safe,do a good job, be proud of your country and where youre from. I know you are all highly regarded by our allies.
All us old vets from RNZIR will be watching your progress and keeping an eye on you all.
Godbless New Zealand.
25/09/2012 1:35:11 p.m.
Kia kaha to all the troops from burnham going over i wish you all a safe journey there and in your time serving may god keep you all safe there and back in april kia kaha to all
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